Below are some answers to frequently asked questions in regards to the MultiSci Studentships award and application process. This information relates specifically to the MultiSci MRC DTP studentship programme, and other types of MRC studentships (such as those offered by the MRC Centres) have a different recruitment process and may have different award details.

Application and selection

How do I apply for the MultiSci Studentships, and what should I include in my personal statement?

Please see the How to apply page for all necessary information about the application process.

What is the selection process?

The Imperial College MultiSci programme is overseen by a College Leadership Team who will evaluate all applications in a longlisting exercise. Applications that progress to the next stage will be scored by a panel of academics from across College.

The scores and reviewers’ comments will be used to identify candidates that will be offered an interview. Interviews will be conducted by panels that will provide comments and scores for each candidate. Following the interviews, the interview panels will meet with the Leadership Team to discuss and make selection recommendations accordingly.

Estimated selection timeline:

  • Late January - Longlisting: the MultiSci Leadership Team review all applications and select the top 50-60 applications
  • February - Scoring: a College academic panel blind score the longlisted applications. Each application is sent to 3 academics.
  • Late February - Shortlisting: the MultiSci Leadership check and ratify the longlist scoring
  • Early March - Interview selection: the top 24-30 applicants are invited for interview
  • March - Interviews: after all interviews have taken place, interview panellists meet with the Leadership Team and make a collective decision on the successful candidates
  • 31 March – Offers: up to 8 successful candidates are contacted by email with an offer for the 2022-23 entry to the MultiSci Studentship Programme.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

All applicants, whether successful or not, will be informed through the applicant portal by 31 March 2022.

See question above for estimated selection timeline.

How do I apply for both MultiSci and the President’s PhD Scholarship at the same time?

You are advised to complete a separate application form for the President's PhD Scholarship. If you prefer to add the President's Scholarship as a second choice on the same application form, please follow the instructions below:

1. Decide whether you wish to list the MultiSci or the President's Scholarship as your first choice.

  • Both the MultiSci and the President's PhD Scholarship will be considered at the same time.
  • We advise that you select the MultiSci as your first choice, as that will make the MRC specific questions available to you which is not possible when selected as a second choice. 
  • Successful students will choose a supervisor and department after being awarded the studentship.
  • For MultiSci, candidates that are shortlisted for interview, will be contacted in early March, and all candidates will receive an outcome no later than end of March 2022. This is in the case that a candidate has been put on a reserve list.

 

2. For the President's PhD Scholarship, identify a supervisor beforehand.

  • There is not a specific scholarship application form. You should submit your application for admission to study at Imperial through our online admissions system and your department will put you forward for the scholarship based on academic merit and potential.
  • In the application form, indicate that you wish to be considered for the President's PhD Scholarship. This can be done in the funding section of the additional questions tab within the online application form.
  • As your second choice, list PhD study in your chosen department.
  • You will need a specific department PhD description or course code. Your potential supervisor will be able to advise on this or put you in touch with the departmental administration team to help.
  • If you are not able to submit a second personal statement or research proposal, you can upload it as a supporting document and at the start of your personal statement (for your first choice), make it clear that you have done this. Alternatively, at the start of your personal statement you can explain that you are applying for both schemes, and structure it to fit both. 
  • Please also refer to the full application process for the President's PhD Scholarship.

Will you need my references at the time of my application?

Yes. As soon as you submit your application, a reference request will be automatically sent to your referees. The deadline for receipt of references is 06 Dec 2021. You should ensure that at least one reference is submitted by this deadline, in support of your application.

Your application should include the name and contact details of two academic referees.  If you are working, we will accept one academic referee and one work referee. Please also see the question above on ‘What is the selection process?', and ensure that you choose referees who will be able to return a reference for you without delay.

Please note that you will need to submit your application first, after that navigate to the 'Supporting Documents & References' section of the application form, and here you will be able to provide your details of your two referees.

Is it possible to just complete the 3.5 year PhD with a MultiSci studentship?

No, all MultiSci studentship holders need to complete the MRes Biomedical Research as it includes MultiSci-specific cohort training, and it'll give you an opportunity to try out different labs for your PhD.

I was interested in a different Master's programme, can I do this instead?

No, because the MultiSci MRes Biomedical Research includes MultiSci-specific cohort training and this cannot be extended to other Master's programmes.

However, the College application form will allow you to make up to two programme choices, a first and a second choice. You may list a different Master's programme as your second choice, but this cannot be linked in any way to the MultiSci Studentship.

I would like to pursue a Master's course at Imperial even if my MultiSci application is unsuccessful. Can I submit an application?

Yes. The College application form will allow you to make up to two programme choices, a first and a second choice.  To ensure you do not miss the studentship deadline, please ensure you list the MultiSci Studentship as your first choice, and the Master's programme as your second choice.

Does the 4.5 year studentship involve direct progression from Master's to PhD?

Yes, the MultiSci studentship includes the one year MRes Biomedical Research programme, a 3 year PhD, and a 6 month writing-up period.  Therefore, in that way there is a progression from one to the other.

Can I take on teaching/clinical work or other paid work during the studentship?

Students may undertake teaching, demonstrating and other paid work, provided that the total demand made on their time, including time spent in preparation, does not normally exceed six hours a week. Any work that a student undertakes must be formalised with a proper contract of employment covering the work the student is expected to do, and would need to conform to Home Office regulations regarding employment.

Eligibility

Am I eligible to apply for the MultiSci Studentships?

Please refer to the eligibility criteria. Please check carefully that you are eligible to apply before submitting an application. Please also refer to further guidance from UKRI on changes to EU and International Eligibility for UKRI funded studentships.

I am an international applicant. Will my full tuition fees be covered?

We welcome applications from international candidates. If successful, international students will receive an identical funding package as home students. Tuition fees are covered at home level for all successful students. Currently there are no additional funds to cover fees up to the international rate. 

Research themes

What are the Imperial College research themes for this programme?

Three research themes combine to create an integrated programme for our MultiSci studentships:

  • The battle against infections
  • Understanding disease mechanisms in humans
  • Realising the power of big data to improve health

Is there a quota of awards, based on the themes?

No, we are not looking to recruit specific numbers to each research area. The programme aims to support up to 8 students in this cohort, with studentships awarded to the best students, who, under advice from the MultiSci Leadership Team, then go on to choose projects in one of the research areas indicated on their application form.

Is my area of research interest included?

The research themes are broad and encompass an extensive and wide range of research areas. In applying, you should further define your research area of interest, by making good use of the three key phrases and personal statement that form part of the application (see How to apply). This will clarify the connection between the research theme and your research interests.

 

What should I include as my 'key phrases'?

Having chosen the research theme, please further define your area of interest by making use of the key phrases. Some examples are given below:

An interest in Cancer Epigenetics
Key phrases: Cancer, Epigenetics, ChIP-seq
Research area: Understanding disease mechanisms in humans

An interest in Infectious Disease
Key phrases: Malaria, Molecular, Vaccination
Research area: The battle against infections

An interest in Cardiolovascular Science
Key phrases: Myocardial Disease, Gene Therapy, Dial Disease
Research area: Understanding disease mechanisms in humans

An interest in Child Health
Key phrases: Paediatrics, Neonatology, Epidemiology
Research area: Realising the power of big data to improve health

What type of research are you funding under the programme?

Students on the MultiSci scheme carry out research across many areas and much of this is cross-faculty based. In the previous MRC DTP rounds, successful students have gone on to PhD projects that include studies of:

  • Understanding the link between amino acids and vascular function in cardiovascular inflammation and sepsis
  • The regulation of HTLV-1 integration by a host co-factor
  • Genetic Mapping of Metabonomic Markers of CardioMetabolic Diseases
  • Metabolic Charactersiation of Neuroblastoma
  • A Study of Epstein Barr Virus Oncoproteins EBNA3A and EBNA3C In Vitro and In Vivo
  • Oral vaccine failure in low-income countries: influence of the intestinal microbiota
  • Engineering a novel diagnostic test for tuberculosis using nanoparticle-based detection of a whole blood gene expression signature
  • How respiratory infections affect the gut microbiome
  • Urban living and cardio-metabolic risk factors for noncommunicable diseases
  • Epidemiological inference for sparsely sampled epidemics from both genealogical and epidemiologic data
  • Gene therapy for alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
  • The role of Annexin-A1 in the control of amyloid beta clearance and in regulating blood brain barrier functionality in Alzheimer's disease
  • Refining estimates of dengue transmissibility and implications for control
  • Role of a conserved Plasmodium complex in the invasion of host cells
  • The Potential of the Pedunculopontine Nucleus for Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease
  • The development and application of novel crystallisation methodology to medically relevant proteins
  • The role of the lateral cerebellum in locomotion
  • Genomics and Epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni
  • Life course epidemiology of diabetes

Supervisors and research projects

Do I need to have a supervisor and research project confirmed before I apply for the MultiSci studentship?

No, applicants are not expected to confirm their supervisor and research project until after the studentships have been awarded, but in general, a clear idea of the area you intend to pursue may be beneficial to your application.

A list of available PhD projects will be provided to students during Year 1 and they will be expected to liaise with the lab and supervisors before selecting a project from this list.

 

Which PhD research projects are available and who can I choose as a supervisor?

A list of available PhD projects within the three research themes will be provided to students during Year 1 and they will be expected to liaise with the lab and supervisors before selecting a project from this list. Some of these supervisors will also provide 5-month research projects as part of the MRes year, allowing students to experience working in their lab. The research themes together cover an extensive and broad range of research disciplines, and the PhD projects list will mirror this choice.

 Please note these exceptions that relate to PhD projects and supervisors:

  • The PhD project list will not include projects from the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, as this is an MRC unit within Imperial College London. The MRC LMS runs a separate MRC-supported PhD programme.
  • The PhD project list will not include projects with supervisors that supervise existing MRC DTP Studentship recipients.

Financial support package

What funding does the studentship package include?

The MultiSci studentship covers: 

  1. Payment of tuition fees at home level
  2. A maintenance award of £17,009 (for MRes) then £18,500 (PhD) per annum for the period of 4.5 years. 
  3. A research training support grant (RTSG) of £5,000 per annum, paid to the supervisor for supporting the student’s training and research (not applicable for Master's year).
  4. Payment of Completing Research Status fee of £200 to allow registration as a writing-up student. 
  5. A conference fund of £300 per annum to facilitate registration and attendance at conferences and scientific meetings (not applicable for Master's year). 
  6. Supplement funds to support a wide range of research and training activities including internships, high cost training and outreach.